Blumenthal, Harkin Introduce Bill to Limit Ad Deduction for Food Ads Directed to Children

Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Tom Harkin (D-IA) have introduced legislation that would deny the federal tax deduction for advertising of foods of “poor nutritional quality” to children and to brands whose foods are associated with advertising foods of “poor nutritional quality” to children. The limit on deductibility would also apply to travel, gift, or promotional expenses incurred in association with these ads. The bill, the Stop Subsidizing Childhood Obesity Act of 2014, would require the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to develop procedures to identify which foods and brands should be covered by the limitation.   

Senator Blumenthal’s press release on the bill can be viewed on his website. Some have speculated that if the tax extenders bill is opened up to further amendment that the Blumenthal bill could possibly be introduced via that procedure. Although the Senate failed 53-40 to invoke cloture on the bill earlier today over a dispute regarding amendments between Majority Leader Harry Reid and the GOP caucus, Reid can bring the bill up again at a later date.

If you have any questions, you can reach Dan Jaffe in ANA’s Washington office at 202-296-2359 or at